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NY N022813

March 5, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 3921.19.0000

Melvin S. Schwechter
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
1101 New York Avenue N.W.
Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20005-4213

RE: The tariff classification of Microweb Membrane from Ireland

Dear Mr. Schwechter:

In your letter dated February 4, 2008, which was a follow-up to an earlier inquiry where we requested additional information, you requested a tariff classification ruling. This letter is requested on behalf of your client Millipore Corporation.

The instant sample, identified as Microweb Membrane (“Microweb”), consists of a relatively thin, yet fibrous nonwoven layer or membrane which you state is composed of polyester man-made fibers. This membrane has been lightly coated on both sides with a cellular (microporous) nitrocellulose plastics material. While this coating is visible to the naked eye, it does not completely cover or envelop the nonwoven substrate to the point where the fibrous nature of the nonwoven portion has been entirely lost.

In your letter you indicate the Microweb Membrane is a filtration medium composed of a porous plastic filtering element, reinforced with a layer of nonwoven textile backing material. The plastic filtering element alone performs the filtration function, while the textile element is stated to be present solely to provide structural support for the filtering element. After importation, the Microweb Membrane will be cut to size and shape, and further processed, for incorporation into finished filtration devices used for the sterile filtration of bacteria.

In Chapter 56 Note 3(c), it states that heading 5603 does not cover “Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics or cellular rubber combined with felt or nonwovens, where the textile material is present merely for reinforcing purposes (chapter 39 or 40).” Since you indicate the nonwoven component is present for structural support only, it would be excluded from heading 5603, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

The applicable subheading for the material will be 3921.19.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics: cellular: of other than polymers of styrene, vinyl chloride, polyurethanes or regenerated cellulose. The rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Deborah Walsh at (646) 733-3044.


Robert B. Swierupski

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